Three out of every four motorists are focusing on something other than driving while behind the wheel, according to a poll conducted by Leger Marketing. With the aim of shedding light on the fact that dangerous driving isn’t limited to the standard categories of speeding or drunk driving, InsuranceHotline.com is drawing attention to the lesser known instances of distracted driving to help inform consumers about safety and its impact on insurance. Their list of seven driving distractions is as follows:
1. Using a cell phone. Even though there are laws and legislation in many cities, people still have the tendency to use their cell phone while driving. If you are talking or texting and are involved in an auto accident, you could be charged with “careless driving with undo care and attention,” and could face a serious conviction that comes with a fine of up to $1,000. This type of conviction, coupled with all the implications that are tied to an auto accident, could impact your automobile insurance premium by thousands of dollars every year for at least six years.
2. Eating and drinking. Whether you are drinking hot coffee or eating fast food, your attention can be diverted away from the road, increasing the chance of a collision.
3. Grooming. Applying makeup and even shaving while behind the wheel means a drivers’ attention is taken away from the road and decreases their ability to apply defensive driving techniques.
4. Reading/writing. Yes that’s right, even a GPS system that’s attached to the dashboard can pose a potential danger as it can take the driver’s eyes away from the road. A split second is all it takes!
5. Outside distractions, including everything from billboards to movies in other vehicles; it’s easy to get distracted and it’s important to always maintain focus while driving.
6. Animals/pets. As much as pets can be a companion on long road trips, a barking dog or a pet blocking your view can be a distraction. If you’re traveling with animals, it’s important to have them in a proper crate to avoid any safety hazards.
7. Passenger distractions. Maintaining focus while driving with screaming children or emotional passengers can be a difficult task. Remaining calm is essential for the safety of both the driver and fellow passengers.
“Most people don’t consider minor distractions behind the wheel, such as children or pets as dangerous driving; however, at-fault accidents, regardless of the cause, can affect consumer’s rates in a negative manner,” explains Tammy Ezer, marketing director, InsuranceHotline.com.
It is important for consumers to stay safe and be well informed about the different options available for car insurance. Be sure to comparison shop to obtain the best auto insurance rates.